Category Archives: Allah

ON THE EVILS OF CLAIMING TO SEE ALLAH WITH THE PHYSICAL EYES

[By Shaykh Muhammad Shareef bin Farid]

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful, may Allah send blessing upon our master Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) his family and Companions and grant them abundant peace.

Among the most pervasive evils which Satan has caused to emerge on the tongues of those associated with Sufism in this post-modernist era is the false claim that a person can see Allah with the physical eyes. This pernicious claim is a denial of the Infallible Book of Allah and the Sunna of His infallible Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. It is also a denial of the consensus opinion of the scholars of Islam from the earliest times to the present.

You hear on the tongue of rank amateurs in the Path to Allah, and by those who have not even smelt the scent of the sound faith and knowledge, that Allah is the Manifest (Dhaahir) and the Hidden (Baatin) and that everything you see is none other than Him. We seek refuge with Allah Ta`ala from inventing lies against Him without authority (sultan) and from compounded ignorance.

These are ideas which these novices misread and extracted from the pages of the spiritually unveiled sages and incorrectly repeated them without having the least understanding of the true import of their words and wisdom. It is for this reason that prior to the age of the European Christians (zaman ‘n-nasaara), it was forbidden to induct into the Tareeqa anyone who had no completed the mastery of their individual obligations in knowledge (fard’l-ayyaan fee ‘l-`ilm).

Today, charlatan murshids & shaykhs and their charlatan mureeds induct any ignoramus into the Sufi path and expose them to advanced ideas on Divine Unity; who then speak on things about Allah which they have no true knowledge or guidance.

This false idea that claims that a person can see Allah Ta`ala with physical sight is categorically denied by the Book and the Sunna. Allah Ta`ala says:

ﻻَّ ﺗُﺪْﺭِﻛُﻪُ ﺍﻷَﺑْﺼَﺎﺭُ ﻭَﻫُﻮَ ﻳُﺪْﺭِﻙُ ﺍﻷَﺑْﺼَﺎﺭَ ﻭَﻫُﻮَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻄِﻴﻒُ ﺍﻟْﺨَﺒِﻴﺮُ * ﻗَﺪْ ﺟَﺎﺀَﻛُﻢْ ﺑَﺼَﺎﺋِﺮٌ ﻣِﻦْ ﺭَّﺑِّﻜُﻢْ ﻓَﻤَﻦْ ﺃَﺑْﺼَﺮَ ﻓَﻠِﻨَﻔْﺴِﻪِ ﻭَﻣَﻦْ ﻋَﻤِﻲَ ﻓَﻌَﻠَﻴْﻬَﺎ ﻭَﻣَﺎ ﺃَﻧَﺎ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻜُﻢْ ﺑِﺤَﻔِﻴْﻆٍ

“He cannot be seen by vision, and He sees (all) vision; and He is the Subtlety Kind, the Aware. Indeed there have come to you clear insight from your Lord; whoever will therefore have insight, it will be for their own souls and whoever will be blind, it shall be against themselves; for I am not over you as a protector.” [6:103-104]

Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio said in his Diya ‘t-Ta`weel fee Ma`ana ‘t-Tanzeel about the meaning of the above two verses: “He cannot be seen by vision’, means you cannot encompass Him in vision. This is the interpolation of the large majority of the scholars of the exegesis of the Quran (tafsir ‘l-jamhuur).

Or a second interpolation is that it means, that you cannot physically see Him in this life, because seeing Him is specific for the visions which the believers will have of Him in the Hereafter. This is based upon His words:

ﻭُﺟُﻮﻩٌ ﻳَﻮْﻣَﺌِﺬٍ ﻧَﺎﺿِﺮَﺓٌ ﺇَﻟَﻰ ﺭَﺑِّﻬِﺎَ ﻧَﺎﻇِﺮَﺓً

‘Faces on that Day will be gazing on their Lord in amazement’.

It has been related by the two Shaykhs, al-Bukhari and Muslim, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said:

ﺇِﻧَّﻜُﻢْ ﺳَﺘَﺮَﻭْﻥَ ﺭَﺑَّﻜُﻢْ ﻛَﻤَﺎ ﺗَﺮَﻭْﻥَ ﺍَﻟْﻘَﻤَﺮَ ﻟَﻴْﻠَﺔَ ﺍَﻟْﺒَﺪْﺭِ

“Indeed you will see your Lord, just as you see the moon on the night of the full moon.”

The phrase vision (absaar) is plural for sight (basar); which is a light lodged in the organ with which things are seen.

The concept of vision is applied unrestrictedly to the eyes, since it is the locus of sight.

The first interpolation is foremost and is what is intended based upon His words: ‘and He sees (all) vision‘; and means that His knowledge encompasses all visions, since He is the One who singled them out with vision. This means that He encompasses and sees the vision of the eyes; and not just the organ of sight.

This is explicit denial of anything besides Allah seeing or comprehending Him with physical or sensory vision.
Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio said that the meaning of His words: ‘and He is the Subtle the Kind’, i.e., the Intimately Compassionate to His awliyya. This Divine Name ‘Lateef’ is from the etymological root ‘lutf’ (kindness) and follows the conjugation of the word ‘nusr’ (assistance).

The meaning of His words: ‘the Aware’, is that He is acutely aware of them. That is to say, that He, Allah cannot be seen by ocular vision because He is the Subtle the Kind; and yet He sees and encompasses all visions because He is the Acutely Aware.

The One who is Subtle, Kind (Lateef) is an indication that He can only be comprehended through spiritual unveiling (kashif), since He cannot be comprehended via sensory perception because there is no likeness to Him in the sensory. The sensory creation is not Allah Ta`ala.

It is other than Him and everything other than Him is in a constant state of fluctuation and annihilation. However, creation’s state of atrophy is an indication of its Creator who is Ever Living, Pre-Eternal and Eternally Continuous. This means that while creation cannot comprehend or see Allah via sensory perception, He can be comprehended through the inner vision and insight of the heart.

That is what the exalted Creator meant when He said on the tongue of our beloved Prophet: “Neither My heavens or My earth can encompass Me, but I am encompassed in the heart of the true believer.”

This truth was confirmed by Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio when he said continuing his exegesis of the verses: “Then Allah Ta`ala: ‘say to them: ‘Indeed there have come to you clear insight from your Lord’, where the phrase ‘clear insight’ (basaa’ir) is plural for ‘baseera’, which is the vision given to the heart (qalb), like the sensory sight (basar) is given to the eyes (`ayn).

What this means is that Allah has made decisive evidences (dalaa’l qaati`a) as insight to the hearts giving evidence of the utmost extent of His Self-disclosure (jalaa’).”

His words: ‘whoever will therefore have insight’, means whoever will have inner insight of these evidences of His Self-disclosure, will come to truly believe in Him.

His words: ‘it will be for their own souls’, means that this Divine insight will increase them in insight, since its reward is increased insight of Him.
His words: ‘and whoever will be blind’, in his heart from comprehending the evidences in creation which indicate His existence; then ‘it shall be against themselves’, meaning that their error will return to them.

His words: ‘for I am not over you as a protector’, means that the Prophet, upon him be peace was not sent as a guardian of your deeds and actions. He is merely a warner. It is Allah who is the Protector (Hafeedh) of you through His preservation of your actions and deeds, and His sanctioning of them. Or it means that he, the Prophet, is unable to defend you from what Allah desires with you.”

The gnostic sage Imam al-Alusi, may Allah be merciful to him, said in his monumental exegesis of the Quran regarding His words:

“He cannot be seen by vision’ where the phrase ‘absaar’ is plural for ‘basar’ (sight); and is used unrestrictedly to refer to the organ of sight (jaarihat naadhira) and refers to the strength of vision that is in the eyes; as well inner vision itself, since it is the strength of comprehension of the heart (quwwat ‘l-qalb). Comprehension (idraak) of a thing means attaining understanding of its fullest extent and having encompassment of that thing.

The majority of the scholars of scholastic theology assert that the meaning of sight (basar) in this Quranic verse refers to the sensory organ of sight since it is the locus for the strength of vision. It is said that this reference is an indication of that and of the illusions and understanding; as Amir ‘l-Mu’mineen Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah ennoble his face said:
“Genuine Divine Unity is that you not have any false illusions about Him.” He also said: “Everything that can be comprehended and understood, by the senses, He is other than that.”

It has been related by Ibn Jareer on the authority of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him who said that the words of Allah:

“He cannot be seen by vision” means that the sensory vision of nothing or no-one can encompass Allah Ta`ala.”

Some of the scholars assert that even in the Hereafter, Allah will not be seen by sensory perception but through a new form of ‘seeing’ which Allah Ta`ala will create as a sense perception for the believers in the hereafter.

This is confirmed by what, the Imam of the Taabi`, Daraar ibn `Amr al-Kufi said: “Indeed Allah will not be seen with the sensory eyes, but He will be seen by a sixth sense which He Subhannahu will create for them on the Day of Judgement.”

These are the illuminated ideas regarding this subject from the words of the best of early communities of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. This is evidence that any Muslim, especially, a Sufi who claims that Allah can be seen by the eyes in the outward and that Allah is everything witnessed in existence, has strayed far from the Straight Path.
This is the same for those who claim that Allah is “all-in-all”, or that Allah is all Black people; and other than these from fallacious ideas which emerge from this central falsehood of the sensory vision of Allah in this existence.
As for the ideas of the masters of the Sufis regarding the sensory vision of Allah in this life and in apparent existence; they too, categorically deny this claim in the most eloquent elucidations after whose words nothing else need be said.

The SULTAN of the AWLIYYA our spiritual master, Muyh’d-Deen Abd’l-Qaadir al-Jaylani said about the meaning of these words of Allah:

“He cannot be seen by vision, and He sees (all) vision; and He is the Subtlety Kind, the Aware. Indeed there have come to you clear insight from your Lord; whoever will therefore have insight, it will be for their own souls and whoever will be blind, it shall be against themselves; for I am not over you as a protector.”

“Indeed it is so, that ‘He cannot be seen,’ due to the extreme degree of His Self-manifestation (dhuhuur) and the Self disclosure (jalaa’). He cannot be seen: ‘by vision’, due solely to the deficiency in ocular sensory vision perceiving His Immense Light; ‘and’, further, how can physical sensory vision see Him; when, ‘He, with His Essence, ‘sees’, i.e. perceives. ‘(all) vision’?

For the One that sees all vision cannot be seen by physical ocular vision; ‘and’, even further, how can He be seen, when ‘He is the Subtlety Kind’, Imperceptibly Transcendent above all forms of imagery (mujaazaat), semblance (muqaabila), natural simulation (inttibaa`) or likeness (muhaaka).”

This is emphatic denial of any false claimant who declares that Allah Ta`ala can be seen outwardly in creation; or those who fall into to open disbelief by claiming that the apparent creation that we witness (mushaahadaat) is none other than Allah because He is the Manifest (Dhaahir).

Or that Allah infuses Himself in creation; or that He impersonates Creation; or that He incarnates or “comes in the person” or locus of some created being, such as Jesus, the son of Mary, Fard Muhammad, Ogun, Horus, or any other physical incarnation inspired by Satan into the hearts of his friends.

This false ideology leads to open shirk and association of Allah with His creation; and identifying creation as a deity. We seek refuge with Allah from open disbelief after being guided!

Shaykh Muyh’d-Deen Abd’l-Qaadir al-Jaylani continues:

“Since He, Allah is: ‘the Aware”, so how can anything besides Himself be truly aware of Him? In summation, nothing sees Allah except Allah, nothing is innately aware of Allah except Him; for everything is in an innate state of atrophy and destruction except His countenance. To Him belongs the judgment, and it is to Him that you all will return, just as a shadow returns back to what caste the shadow.”

Our master, Abu Bakr as-Sideeq, may Allah be pleased with him said corroborating the above principle: “The acknowledgement of the inability to comprehend (`adamu’l-istidraak) Him is comprehension of Him.”

However, Allah Ta`ala does disclose Himself, His Names and Attributes as well as His Actions in creation to His close intimate friends (awliyya) when He says: ‘Indeed there have come to you clear insight from your Lord.’

Shaykh Abdl-Qaadir al-Jaylani said about these words:

‘Indeed there have come to you’, i.e., there has occurred among some of you, who have a propensity (majbuul) for the original lucid state of Divine Unity (fitra ‘t-tawheed), ‘clear insight’, that is to say, there has come to you clear evidences (shawaahid) and dialectical moments of spiritual unveiling (kawaashif), ‘from your Lord’, who brought you into existence and disclosed these to you.
‘Whoever will therefore have insight’, that is to say, the one who actually witnesses these evidences of His Self-disclosure and those who experience genuine unveiling with them, ‘it will be for their own souls’.

This means that the advantage will naturally recur to them; ‘and whoever will be blind’, i.e., veiled from it; ‘it shall be against themselves’. This means that the harm of being blinded and veiled to these realities returns back to them.
‘For I am not over you as a protector’; that is to say, I am not your overseer responsible for managing you. I am only a deliverer of prophetic news. Your preservation and that of all things besides Him is in the Hand of Allah. For, management is by His omnipotent power. He alone guides whom he wills and leads astray whomever He wills.”
How did this pernicious idea permeate some of those who claim association with the Path of the Sufis? It came from a prevalent heretical innovation which emerged with those charlatan Sufi shaykhs who were more concerned with garnering large numbers of mureeds, so out of lust for this world’s life and its rubble; these business tycoons posing as shaykhs; threw away the basic principle in inducting people into the Tareeqa.

The basic rule for inducting a person, man, or woman, into the Path of the Sufis was that the person had to, as a prerequisite, have completed the attainment, and understanding of the rules (ahkaam) of the individual obligations (`ilm fard al-`ayyaan).
However, with the emergence of the Hour of the European Christian imperial control of globe, there also emerged avaricious marabous, shaykhs, murshids whose only aim was to increase in followers, fame and to assure a constant flow of wealth into their coffers.

Thus, the doors of the spiritual guilds were flung open to every kind of wanton spirit, desirous for power, rank, and wealth. In the past a student of knowledge who had exerted themselves in the pursuit of sacred knowledge by completion of the sciences which are obligatory upon every Muslim to know and act upon; would then seek out a Shaykh murrabi (a teaching guide) who could then instruct them in the deeper aspects of faith, and gnosis of Allah.

Or, sometimes the Shaykh murrabi would have students of knowledge studying the basic usuul whose characters, enthusiasm, uprightness and resolve were signals for the teacher to introduce them to the ancient Way or Tareeqa of direct gnosis of Allah ta`ala based upon sound sanad (corroborated chain) going back to the Beloved Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

Alas, those days are long gone! It has become like Imam Ibn Mubaarak said: “The chains of authority are from the deen. If there are no chains of authority, then whoever likes can say whatever he likes.”

Today, everyone is a shaykh! Every knows the asraar! Everyone has an opinion and most of what they say about Allah and His Path is pure nonsense!

Today, people whose nafs is like that of donkeys have put on the glorious saddle of stallions (maqarrabuun) of the Path and without the bridal of taqwa to reign them in or a general of the path guide them; they now trample over the Garden of the Knowers Allah, utilizing the language of the People; whose Path, they have never truly followed nor have they a sound chain of authority connecting them.

These people claim to have reached the Pleiades of gnosis of Allah when they have never left the suffocating bowels of their own souls which command to evil (nafs al-amaara bi’s-suu).

Imam Ibn al-Mubarak said about them: “The likeness of one who seeks an issue of his deen without a chain of authority is like the one who desires to climb to the roof without a ladder.”

Many of these charlatans, peruse the books of the People of spiritual insight and unveiling (tabassur wa inkishaaf) and with lack of training or discipline repeat what they misread and misunderstand from these noble texts. They end up deceiving themselves and deceiving whoever had the misfortune of listening to them.

It is about these kinds of spiritual charlatans this reason that the Imam of the Sufis, Shaykh Abu’l-Qaasim Junayd al-Baghdadi:

“There is nothing worse than the ignorant sufi!”

Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio said in his renown Ihya as-Sunna:

“Among the heretical innovations in the Path of the Sufis is searching in the books of the people of spiritual unveiling (ahl’l-kashf) by those who cannot tell the difference between a gnat and an elephant in knowledge. This is a forbidden innovation.

Searching and examining the books of the people of spiritual unveiling is not permissible except for the scholar who knows the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He should take from these books that which clarify guidance for him and he should leave what it is not clear. He should accept the validity of what is not clear, but not act in accordance with it.

This should be done not because of any deficiency in its words, but because his own knowledge has not reached to the level of comprehending it. This is because no person is held responsible for that which his knowledge does not encompass. On the contrary, it is not permissible for him to follow it,

ﻭَﻻَ ﺗَﻘْﻒُ ﻣَﺎ ﻟَﻴْﺲَ ﻟَﻚَ ﺑِﻪِ ﻋِﻠْﻢٌ

“Do not follow that which you have no knowledge.” [17:36]

So, people who lack the training to understand the immense depth of the wisdom of the sages; will swear that the falsehoods that they espouse were the words of their Shaykh, who is the Qutb of this and the Qutb of that; without knowing the import of their Shaykhs words and how their words spring from the Two Sacred Infallible sources, the Quran, Sunna and the fundamental principles of the early community (as-salaf).

Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio said in his Diya’u ‘s-Siyaasa:

“When the Knower of Allah speaks from knowledge, his words should be viewed from the perspective of its source from the Book of Allah, the Sunna of His Messenger and the traditions of the Salaf; because knowledge is interpreted based upon its foundation.

When the Knower of Allah speaks from his spiritual states (ahwaal), its meaning should be surrendered to the understanding of the one who has had the same experience. However, he is not to be followed because of the lack of universal application of his judgment except by the one who has attained the same spiritual experience. The one who possesses spiritual states (ahwaal) is not to be followed in that.”

Similarly words uttered by the shuyuukh and the sages of this sacred Path should not be repeated just because they sound profound, deep and makes a person appear wise. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “Address people according to their intelligence.” Not every word of wisdom should be spoken. There are certain spiritual states, spiritual ideas and knowledge which should be experienced and tasted…and not talked about.
Allah is a Witness for what I say.

DOES ALLAH TA’ALA GIVE US REASONS FOR WHY HE HAS ALLOWED EVIL AND SUFFERING TO EXIST?

[By Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng]

A sufficient response is to provide a strong argument that Allah Ta’aala has communicated some reasons to us about why He has allowed evil and suffering in the world. The intellectual richness of Islamic thought provides us with many reasons.  

Our purpose is worship

The primary purpose of the human being is not to enjoy a transitory sense of happiness; rather, it is to achieve a deep internal peace through knowing and worshipping Allah Ta’aala. This fulfilment of the Divine purpose will result in everlasting bliss and true happiness. So, if this is our primary purpose, other aspects of human experience are secondary. The Qur’an states, “I did not create either jinn [spirit world] or man except to worship Me.”

Consider someone who has never experienced any suffering or pain, but experiences pleasure all the time. This person, by virtue of his state of ease, has forgotten Allah Ta’aala and therefore failed to do what he was created to do. Compare this person with someone whose experiences of hardship and pain have led him to Allah Ta’aala, and fulfilled his purpose in life. From the perspective of the Islamic spiritual tradition, the one whose suffering has led him to Allah Ta’aala is better than the one who has never suffered and whose pleasures have led him away from Allah Ta’aala.  

Life is a test

Allah Ta’aala also created us for a test, and part of this test is to experience trials with suffering and evil. Passing the test facilitates our permanent abode of eternal bliss in Jannah. The Qur’an explains that Allah Ta’aala created death and life, “so that He may put you to test, to find out which of you is best in deeds: He is the The-Almighty, The-Forgiving.”

On a basic level, the atheist misunderstands the purpose of our existence on Earth. The world is supposed to be an arena of trials and tribulations in order to test our conduct and for us to cultivate virtue. For example, how can we cultivate patience if we do not experience things that test our patience? How can we become courageous if there are no dangers to be confronted? How can we be compassionate if no one is in need of it? Life being a test answers these questions. We need challenges to ensure our moral and spiritual growth. We are not here to party; that is the purpose of Jannah.

So why is life a test? Since Allah Ta’aala is perfectly good, He wants every single one of us to believe and, as a result, experience eternal bliss with Him in Jannah. Allah Ta’aala makes it clear that He prefers belief for us all: “And He does not approve for His servants’ disbelief.” 

This clearly shows that Allah Ta’aala does not want anyone to go to hell. However, if He were to send everyone to Jannah, then a gross violation of justice would take place; Allah Ta’aala would be treating Moosa Alaihis Salaam and Fir’oun and Qaroon and Isa Alaihis Salaam as the same. A mechanism is needed to ensure that people who enter Jannah do so based on merit. This explains why life is a test. Life is just a mechanism to see who among us are truly deserving of eternal happiness. As such, life is filled with obstacles, which act as tests of our conduct.

In this regard, Islam is extremely empowering because it sees suffering, evil, harm, pain and problems as a test. We can have fun, but we have been created with a purpose and that purpose is to worship Allah Ta’aala. The empowering Islamic view is that tests are seen as sign of Allah Ta’aala’s love. Rasulullah SallAllah Ta’aalau Alayhi Wasallam said, “When Allah Ta’aala loves a servant, He tests him.”

The reason Allah Ta’aala tests those whom He loves is because it is an avenue to achieve the eternal bliss of Jannah—and entering Jannah is a result of Divine love and mercy. Allah Ta’aala points this out clearly in the Qur’an: “Do you suppose that you will enter the Garden without first having suffered like those before you? They were afflicted by misfortune and hardship, and they were so shaken that even [their] messenger and the believers with him cried, ‘When will Allah Ta’aala’s help arrive?’ Truly, Allah Ta’aala’s help is near.”

The beauty of the Islamic tradition is that Allah Ta’aala, who knows us better than we know ourselves, has already empowered us and tells us that we have what it takes to overcome these trials. “Allah Ta’aala does not burden any soul with more than it can bear.” However, if we cannot overcome these trials after having tried our best, Allah Ta’aala’s mercy and justice will ensure that we are recompensed in some way, either in this life or the eternal life that awaits us.  

Knowing Allah Ta’aala

Hardship and suffering enables us to realise and know Allah Ta’aala’s attributes, such as The-Protector and The-Healer. For example, without the pain of illness we would not appreciate Allah Ta’aala’s attributes as The-Healer, or the one who gives us health. Knowing Allah Ta’aala in the Islamic spiritual tradition is a greater good, and worth the experience of suffering or pain, as it will ensure the fulfilment of our primary purpose, which ultimately leads to Jannah.  

Greater good

Suffering and evil allow a greater good, also known as second-order good. First-order good is physical pleasure and happiness, and first-order evil is physical pain and sadness. Some examples of second-order goodness include courage, humility and patience. However, in order to have a second order good (like courage) there must be a first-order evil (like cowardice). According to the Qur’an, elevated good such as courage and humility do not have the same value as evil: “Say (Oh Rasulullah SallAllah Ta’ala Alayhi Wasallam), bad cannot be likened to good, though you may be dazzled by how abundant the bad is. Be mindful of Allah Ta’ala, people of understanding, so that you may prosper.”

The view that everything that happens is in line with a Divine wisdom is empowering and positive. This is because Allah’s wisdom does not contradict other aspects of His nature, such as His perfection and goodness. Therefore, evil and suffering are ultimately part of a Divine purpose. So something can be objectively evil due to certain variables or context, and at the same time it can be included with an ultimate Divine purpose that is good and wise. This evokes positive psychological responses from believers because all the evil and all the suffering that occur are for a Divine purpose.

Suffering of innocent people is temporary

Even if there is a lot of greater good to be actualised, one may observe that some people still suffer without experiencing any relief. This is why in Islam, Allah Ta’aala not only provides justifications for evil and suffering in this world but also recompenses them. At the end, all believers who suffered and were innocent will be granted eternal bliss, and all the suffering they had—even if they suffered all of their lives—will be forgotten forever.

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:

“…the person who had suffered the most affliction in the world of those destined for Jannah will be brought forth and merely dipped into Paradise for a moment. Then he will be asked ‘O son of Adam, have you ever seen suffering? Have you ever experienced hardship in your life?’ He will reply ‘No my Lord, by God. I have never undergone suffering. I have never seen hardship.’”

Source: The Divine Reality

7 REASONS WHY GOD IS WORTHY OF WORSHIP

By Hamza Tzortzis

God makes it very clear that the purpose of our lives is to worship Him, “And I did not create the jinn (spirit world) and mankind except to worship Me.”[1] The concept of worship in the Islamic tradition is profound. Worship entails that we must know, love and obey God, as well as single out and dedicate all acts of worship to Him alone. If we want to know, love and obey something other than God the most, including direct acts of worship (like ultimate gratitude) to something other than Him, then that is our object of worship. In this sense, human beings, including those who do not believe in God, cannot not worship. However, many misdirect their worship to things other than God; something this essay aims to address.

According to the Islamic spiritual tradition, acts of worship are accepted if they fulfil two conditions. The first is that the act of worship should be done purely for the sake of God. The second is that the action itself is prescribed by the Islamic source texts: the Qur’an and the authentic Prophetic traditions. So a natural question that follows from this is: What are these acts of worship?

The acts of worship are many. Any good action that is done to please God is an act of worship. However, there are some basic acts of worship which are essential to Islamic spiritual practice. These have been summarised by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the five pillars of Islam. They include: affirming and recognising in one’s heart that there is no deity worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad ﷺ is God’s final messenger; praying five times a day; giving the obligatory charity if one can afford to; fasting in Ramadan (the 9th month of the Islamic calendar) and performing the pilgrimage if one is able to do so. These acts of worship have profound meanings and inner dimensions. These are the basic pillars of Islam. However, in developing one’s spiritual practice one can engage in a plethora of additional spiritual activities. These include: reciting the Qur’an; remembrance of God; removing the spiritual diseases in one’s heart; voluntary charity; repentance; spiritual reflection; conveying the message of Islam to others; feeding the poor; spreading peace; taking care of animals; studying the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ; memorising the Qur’an; the night prayer; reflecting on natural phenomena and much more.

Since our reason for being is to worship the Divine, it is important to understand why we must dedicate all acts of worship to Him alone. In this essay I will provide 7 reasons for why we must worship God and dedicate all acts of worship to Him alone. These reasons include:

  1. God is worthy of worship by virtue of who He is.
  2. God has created and sustains everything.
  3. God provides us with innumerable favours.
  4. If we love ourselves, we must love God.
  5. God is The-Loving, and His love is the purest form of love.
  6. Worship is part of who we are.
  7. Obeying God is the most rational thing to do.

Knowing God

Before I discuss the above reasons, it is important to elaborate on what is meant by knowing God. Knowledge of God is essential to understanding why God is worthy of our worship, because we cannot worship something we are ignorant of. This is why, in the Islamic tradition, traversing a path of knowing God is a form of worship:

“So know, that there is no deity except God.”[2]

To know God means that we affirm that He is the sole creator and maintainer of everything that exists (known as Oneness of God’s Creativity). It also entails that we affirm His names and attributes in the context of recognising that they are unique and that nothing can compare to God (known as Oneness of God’s Names and Attributes). Knowledge of God also involves that we must know that He is unique in His Divinity; He alone is entitled to all acts of worship (known as Oneness of God’s Divinity). It must be noted that in Islamic theology it is critical to affirm that nothing whatsoever shares in God’s creative power and ability, names and attributes, and Divinity. All forms of anthropomorphism are completely rejected. God is transcendent and maximally perfect. He has no imperfections. The concept of oneness in the Islamic spiritual tradition is referred to as tawheed, which linguistically means to affirm oneness or to make something one or unique.

Oneness of Creativity

The oneness of God’s Creativity is to affirm and recognise that God is the sole creator, master and owner of everything that exists. God is the One who sustains, takes care of, and nourishes everything. According to the Islamic doctrine of tawheed, anyone who denies this has associated partners with God, which is polytheism (known as shirk in Islamic theology). Anyone who believes that these descriptions of God can be shared by any created thing has deified that thing. Therefore, they have associated partners with God.

Oneness of God’s Names and Attributes

The ‘oneness of God’s names and attributes’ means to describe God only by the names and attributes by which He has described Himself, which are found in the Qur’an and the Prophetic teachings (some names such as Al-Khaaliq, The-Creator, and Al-Qadeer, The-Powerful, can be affirmed by a sound rational mind). These names and attributes, such as The-Loving and The-Subtle, are affirmed but they are not comparable to creation. God’s names and attributes are perfect without any deficiency or flaw, God is maximally perfect. God’s names are described by God Himself as the most beautiful:

“The most beautiful names belong to God: so call on Him by them.”[3]

The one who compares these names and attributes to creation has committed humanisation, and therefore has associated partners with God. The one who compares any created thing to God has committed deification, which is also a form of associating partners with God.

Oneness of God’s Divinity

The oneness of God’s Divinity is that we must affirm that all acts of worship must be directed to Him alone. Someone who directs acts of worship to anything other than God, and the one who seeks reward from anything other than God in any act of worship, has associated partners with Him.

In certain contexts, some acts of worship such as the internal acts of worship, if directed to other than God, do not constitute associating partners with Him. For example, one’s love for God may be deficient and require perfecting. Associating partners with God in the context of love would involve loving something or someone instead of God or as much as God. Someone can love their their family and it would not constitute associating partners with God. If they loved their family instead of God or as much as God, then that would constitute a form of associating partners with Him.

The gravest sin

Associating partners with God is the gravest sin. The consequence of this sin is that the one who dies in such a state and has not repented dies in a state of disbelief. This will never be forgiven by God. (This applies to major forms of associating partners with God. There are lesser forms that do not lead to disbelief, such as giving charity for other than God, obeying someone instead of God and showing off one’s good deeds. However, major forms of associating partners with God such as praying to other than Him and believing other things are worthy of worship lead to disbelief):

“Indeed, God does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with God has certainly committed a tremendous sin.”[4]

However, if one associates partners with God and repents to Him and returns to the path of oneness, he or she will be forgiven, and their transgressions will be transformed into good deeds:

“And those who invoke not any other deity along with God… Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds; for those, God will change their sins into good deeds, and God is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”[5]

The one who has associated partners with God and has never repented, and dies in that state (and has no excuse), has essentially oppressed themselves by closing the door to God’s mercy. Their hearts have ‘eternally’ rejected God’s guidance and mercy; therefore, they have alienated themselves from the Divine. Those who reject God will plead to go back to earth to do righteousness, but their hearts have ‘eternally’ rejected:

“[For such is the state of the disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says, ‘My Lord, send me back that I might do righteousness in that which I left behind.’ No! It is only a word he is saying.”[6]

This self-imposed spiritual reality is a form of denial. The person has denied all the just and fair opportunities that God has given them to embrace His mercy and love:

“God has not wronged them, but they wronged themselves.”[7]

“This is reward for what your hands have done. And God is never unjust to His servants.”[8]

It must be noted that according to Islamic theology, if someone was not given the right message of Islam, and sought the truth, they will have an excuse and will be tested on the Day of Judgment.[9] God is The-Just and no one will be treated unjustly. This is why, when a non-Muslim has passed away, it is considered un-Islamic to pass judgment on their final abode (however, some scholars have said this may not apply to those who never sought the truth or had sufficient knowledge of Islam). No one knows what is in someone else’s heart and whether someone was given the right message in the right way. However, from a creedal and societal point of view, non-Muslims who died will be buried as non-Muslims. This does not mean that this is their final judgement. In reality, God is maximally and perfectly just and merciful, so no one will be treated unmercifully and no one will be treated unjustly.

People who have heard the message of Islam in a sound and correct way will have to account for their denial. However, whoever dies without having heard the message of Islam, or heard it in a distorted form, will be given an opportunity to accept the truth. Echoing the principles from the various verses of the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions, Al-Ghazali summarises this nuanced approach. He argues that people who never heard the message of Islam will have an excuse: “In fact, I would say that, God willing, most of the Byzantine Christians and the Turks of this age will be included in God’s mercy. I’m referring here to those who live in the farthest regions of Byzantium and Anatolia who have not come into contact with the message… They are excused.”[10]

Al-Ghazali also argues that the people who heard negative things of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his message will also be excused: “These people knew the name ‘Muhammad’, but nothing of his character or his qualities. Instead, all they heard since childhood is that a liar and imposter called ‘Muhammad’ claimed to be a prophet… This party, in my opinion, is like the first party. For even though they’ve heard his name, they heard the opposite of what his true qualities were. And this does not provide enough incentive for them to investigate [his true status].”[11]

The true teachings of Islam are a barrier to extremism. In my view, all forms of extremism are based on an ‘ideological hardness’ that hardens people’s hearts. What I mean by this is that people adopt non-negotiable, binary and negative assumptions about the world and other people. This makes one group of people ‘otherize’ another. Otherization is not simply labelling people as belonging to other groups. This is natural and part of modern society. Otherization usually happens when one group describes another group in a negative way and maintains that each member is the same. This hardens people’s hearts and prevents them from positively engaging with other people who seem to be different. Islam does not otherize people. It does not assert that everyone who is not a Muslim is ultimately doomed or evil. The Qur’an makes it quite clear that people constituting other groups “are not all alike[12] and describes some of them as “upright”[13] The Qur’an also applies this concept to believers too; some are righteous and some are not. Nevertheless, Islam teaches that every human being must be treated with mercy, compassion and fairness.

7 Reasons why God is worthy of worship

# 1 God is worthy of worship by virtue of who He is

The best place to start is to understand who God is. God, by definition, is the One who is entitled to our worship; it is a necessary fact of His own existence. The Qur’an repeatedly highlights this fact about God,

“Indeed, I am God. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.”[14]

Since God is the only Being whose right is our worship, then all of our acts of worship should be directed to Him alone.

In the Islamic tradition, God is considered a maximally perfect Being. He possesses all the perfect names and attributes to the highest degree possible. For example, in Islamic theology, God is described as the The-Loving, and this means that His love is the most perfect and greatest love possible. It is because of these names and attributes that God must be worshipped. We always praise people for their abilities, kindness, knowledge and wisdom. However, God’s power, kindness, knowledge and wisdom are to the highest degree possible with no deficiency or flaw. Therefore, He is worthy of the most extensive form of praise, and praising God is a form of worship. In this light, God is worthy of worship by virtue of who He is.

God is also the only One entitled to our supplications and prayers. He knows best what is good for us, and He wants what is good for us. Such a Being with these attributes must be prayed to, and be asked assistance of. God is worthy of our worship because there is something about God that makes Him so. He is the Being with the most perfect names and attributes.

An important point regarding worshipping God is that it is His right, even if we are not recipients of any type of comfort. If we were to live a life full of suffering, God must still be worshipped. Worshipping God is not dependent on some kind of reciprocal relationship; He gives us life, and we worship Him in return. Do not misunderstand what I am saying here: God showers us with many blessings (as I will discuss below); however, He is worshipped because of who He is and not necessarily how He decides—via His boundless wisdom—to distribute His bounty.

We praise people due to their sporting skill, eloquence, strength or any other attribute. We do so even though they do not benefit us in any direct way. Similarly, God deserves extensive praise by virtue of His perfect names and attributes, and not as a result of how He decided to manifest them in our lives. If we can praise people who have limited and flawed attributes, what does it mean on how we must praise God whose names and attributes have no deficiency or flaw?

# 2 God has created and also sustains everything

There is something in your life that you receive freely, yet you do not earn it and do not own it. There is no good reason to believe that you deserve it either. This thing is this moment, and the next moment, and all of the moments of your existence. You do not earn these moments, so what can you possibly do to earn another instant in your life? This is exactly why in popular culture we call it a gift: the gift of life. If you knew that you had 10 hours left to live and in order to live another 3 days you had to give away all of your wealth, you would immediately do so. That’s why we all consider it to be so precious. You do not own these moments because you do not have the capacity to bring anything into existence; you cannot even create a fly. You do not deserve another moment of your existence because it is not yours; you do not have the ability to produce life, even for a second. Therefore, nothing that you do can be deserving of something that you can never acquire by yourself.

In light of these basic truths, you must always be in a state of gratitude, because you always receive something that you neither earn, nor own, nor deserve. These moments of our existence are from God alone, therefore we must be thankful to God, and acknowledge that all gratitude belongs to Him alone. Gratitude is a key aspect of worship.

God has created everything; He continually sustains the entire cosmos and provides for us out of His bounty. The Qur’an continually repeats this concept in various ways, which evokes a sense of gratitude and awe in the heart of the listener or reader:

“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the Earth.”[15]

“Do they indeed ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing but are themselves created?”[16]

“O mankind, remember the favour of God upon you. Is there any creator other than God who provides for you from the heaven and Earth? There is no deity except Him, so how are you deluded?”[17]

Therefore, everything we use in our daily lives, and all of the essential things that we require to survive, are due to God. It follows then that His is all gratitude. Since God created everything that exists, He is the owner and master of everything, including us. Hence, we must be in a sense of awe and gratitude to Him. Since God is our Master, we must be His servants. To deny this is not only rejecting reality, but it is the height of ingratitude, arrogance and thanklessness.

Since God created us, our very existence is solely dependent on Him. We are not self-sufficient, even if some of us are deluded in thinking that we are. Whether we live a life of luxury and ease or poverty and hardship, we are ultimately dependent on God. Nothing in this universe is possible without Him and whatever happens is due to His will. Our success in business and the great things that we may achieve are ultimately because of God. He created the causes in the universe that we use to achieve success, and if He does not will our success it will never happen. Understanding our ultimate dependency on God should evoke an immense sense of gratitude and humility in our hearts. Humbling ourselves before God and thanking Him is a form of worship. One of the biggest barriers to Divine guidance and mercy is the delusion of self-sufficiency, which is ultimately based on ego and arrogance. The Qur’an makes this point clear:

“But man exceeds all bounds when he thinks he is self-sufficient.”[18]

“There is the one who is miserly, and is self-satisfied, who denies goodness—We shall smooth his way towards hardship and his wealth will not help him as he falls. Our part is to provide guidance.”[19]

# 3 God provides us with innumerable favours

“And if you should [try to] count the favours of God, you could not enumerate them. Indeed mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.”[20]

We should be eternally grateful to God because we could never thank Him for His blessings. The heart is an appropriate example to illustrate this point. The human heart beats around 100,000 times a day, which is approximately 37,000,000 times a year. If we were to live up to the age of 75, the number of heartbeats would reach 2,759,400,000. How many of us have even counted that number of heartbeats? No one ever has. It is actually impossible to count that many heartbeats. Firstly, for the first few years of your life you cannot count. Already there’s a few years of backlog. Secondly, you cannot count your heartbeats while you are sleeping. To be able to count a lifetime’s worth of heartbeats, you would have had to start counting each heartbeat from the day you were born and while you were asleep. This would interfere with your ability to live a normal life, as you would always be counting every time your heart started a new beat. As a practical matter it is impossible. However, every heartbeat is precious to us. Anyone of us would sacrifice a mountain of gold to ensure that our hearts function properly to keep us alive. Yet we forget and deny the One who created our hearts and enables them to function. This illustration forces us to conclude that we must be grateful to God, and gratitude is a form of worship. The above discussion just refers to heartbeats, so imagine the gratitude we must express for all the other blessings God has given us. From this perspective anything other than a heartbeat is a bonus. God has given us favours we cannot enumerate, and if we could count them we would have to thank Him for the ability to do so.

# 4 If we love ourselves, we must love God

Loving God is a fundamental aspect of worship. There are many types of love and one of these includes self-love. This occurs due to the desire to prolong our existence, feel pleasure and avoid pain, as well as the need to satisfy our human needs and motivations. We all have this natural love for ourselves because we want to be happy and content. The psychologist Erich Fromm argued that loving oneself is not a form of arrogance or egocentricity. Rather, self-love is about caring, taking responsibility and having respect for ourselves. This type of love is necessary in order to love others. If we cannot love ourselves, how then can we love other people? There is nothing closer to us than our own selves; if we cannot care for and respect ourselves, how then can we care for and respect others? Loving ourselves is a form of ‘self-empathy’. We connect with our own feelings, thoughts and aspirations. If we cannot connect with our own selves, how then can we empathise and connect with others? Eric Fromm echoes this idea by saying that love “implies that respect for one’s own integrity and uniqueness, love for an understanding of one’s own self, cannot be separated from respect and love and understanding for another individual.”[21]

If a person’s love for himself is necessary, this should lead him to love the One who made him. Why? Because God created the physical causes and means for human beings to achieve happiness and pleasure, and avoid pain. God has freely given us every precious moment of our existence, yet we do not earn or own these moments. The great theologian Al-Ghazali aptly explains that if we love ourselves we must love God:

“Therefore, if man’s love for himself be necessary, then his love for Him through whom, first his coming-to-be, and second, his continuance in his essential being with all his inward and outward traits, his substance and his accidents, occur must also be necessary. Whoever is so besotted by his fleshy appetites as to lack this love neglects his Lord and Creator. He possesses no authentic knowledge of Him; his gaze is limited to his cravings and to things of sense.”[22]

# 5 God is The-Loving, and His love is the purest form of love

God is The-Loving. He has the purest form of love. This should make anyone want to love Him, and loving Him is a key part of worship. Imagine if I were to tell you that there was this person who was the most loving person ever, and that no other love could match his love; wouldn’t that instil a strong desire to get to know this person, and eventually love him too? God’s love is the purest and most intense form of love; therefore, any sane person would want to love him too.

Given that the English word for love encompasses a range of meanings, the best way to elaborate on the Islamic conception of God’s love is to look into the actual Qur’anic terms used to describe Divine love: His mercy (rahmah), His special mercy (raheem) and His special love (muwadda). By understanding these terms and how they relate to the Divine nature, our hearts will learn to love God.

Mercy

It is said that another word for love is mercy. One of God’s names is The-Merciful; the Arabic word used is Ar-Rahmaan. This English translation does not fully represent the depth and intensity that the meaning of this word carries. The name Ar-Rahmaan has three major connotations: the first is that God’s mercy is an intense mercy; the second is that His mercy is an immediate mercy; and the third is a mercy so powerful that nothing can stop it. God’s mercy encompasses all things and He prefers guidance for people. In God’s book, the Qur’an, He says,

“…but My mercy encompasses all things….”[23]

“It is the Lord of Mercy who taught the Qur’an.”[24]

In the above verse, God says He is The-Merciful, which can be understood as the “Lord of Mercy”, and that He taught the Qur’an. This is a linguistic indication to highlight that the Qur’an was revealed as a manifestation of God’s mercy. In other words, the Qur’an is like one big love-letter to humanity. As with true love, the one who loves wants good for the beloved, and warns them of pitfalls and obstacles, and shows them the way to happiness. The Qur’an is no different: it calls out to humanity, and it also warns and expresses glad tidings.

Special Mercy

Connected to Ar-Rahmaan is Ar-Raheem. These names share the same root as the previous, which comes from the Arabic word for womb. The difference in meaning however is significant. Ar-Raheem refers to a special mercy for those who want to embrace it. Whoever chooses to accept God’s guidance has essentially accepted His special mercy. This special mercy is for the believers and it is manifested in paradise; unending, blissful peace with God.

Special Love

According to the Qur’an, God is The-Loving. The Arabic name is Al-Wadood. This refers to a special love that is apparent. It comes from the word wud, which means expressing love through the act of giving: “And He is the Forgiving, The Loving.”[25]

God’s love transcends all of the different types of love. His love is greater than all worldly forms of love. For example, a mother’s love, although selfless, is based on her internal need to love her child. It completes her, and through her sacrifices she feels whole and fulfilled. God is an independent Being who is self-sufficient and perfect; He does not require anything. God’s love is not based on a need or want; it is therefore the purest form of love, because He gains absolutely nothing from loving us.

In this light, how can we not love the One who is more loving than anything we can imagine? The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “God is more affectionate to His servants than a mother to her children.”[26]

If God is the most loving, and His love is greater than the greatest worldly love we have experienced, this should instil in us a deeper love for God. Significantly, this should make us want to love Him by being one of His servants. Al-Ghazali aptly said, “For those endowed with insight there is in reality no object of love but God, nor does anyone but He deserve love.”[27]

From a spiritual perspective, God’s love is the greatest blessing anyone can ever achieve, as it is a source of internal tranquillity, serenity, and eternal bliss in the hereafter. Not loving God is not only a form of ingratitude, but the greatest form of hate. Not loving the One who is the source of love is a rejection of that which enables love to occur and fill our hearts.

God does not force His special love on us. Although, by His mercy, He lovingly gives us every moment of our lives, to fully embrace God’s love and be recipients of His special love, one must enter into a relationship with Him. It is as if God’s love is waiting for us to embrace it. However, we have closed the door and put up the shutters. We have kept the door shut by denying, ignoring and rejecting God. If God were to force His special love on us, love would lose all meaning. We have the choice: to follow the right path and thereby gain God’s special love, or reject His guidance and face the spiritual consequences.

The most loving Being wants to love you, but in order for you to embrace that love, and for it to be meaningful, you have to choose to love Him and follow the path that leads to His love. This path is the Prophetic path of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

“Say, [O Muhammad]: ‘If you love God, then follow me, [so] God will love you and forgive your sins. And God is Forgiving and Merciful’.”[28]

# 6 Worship is part of who we are

God is worthy of our worship because worship is part of who we are. Just like our need to eat, drink and breathe, worship is an innate tendency. From this perspective, we are natural-born worshippers, because that is who we are and it is our Divinely given purpose. Worshipping God is a logical necessity, just as when we say a car is red. It is red because we have defined that colour as red; it is red by definition. Likewise, we are worshippers by definition, because God defined and made us that way: “I did not create the Jinn [spirit world], nor mankind, except to worship Me.”[29]

Even people who do not believe in God, including those who reject the fact that He is entitled to worship, manifest signs of adoration, reverence and devotion. If you do not worship God, you’ll still end up worshipping something. From an Islamic perspective, the object that you love and revere the most, including whatever you attribute ultimate power to and believe you are ultimately dependent on, is essentially your object of worship. For many people, this can include an ideology, a leader, a family member, and even your own self. In other words, many people idolise these things. Polytheism or idolatry is not just about praying to or bowing down in front of an object.

God is rooted in our innermost nature, and when God commands us to worship Him it is actually a mercy and act of love. It is as if every human being has a hole in his or her heart. This hole is not physical, it is spiritual, and it needs to be filled to achieve spiritual tranquillity. We attempt to fill this hole with a new job, a holiday, a new house, a new car, a hobby, travel or taking up a popular self-help course. However, every time we fill our hearts with these things, a new hole appears. We are never truly satisfied, and after a while we seek something else to fill the spiritual void. Yet, once we fill our hearts with the love of God, the hole remains permanently closed. Thus, we feel at peace and experience a tranquillity that can never be put into words, and a serenity that is undisturbed by calamity.

# 7 Obeying God is the most rational thing to do

“[A]nd obey God and the Prophet[30] so that you may be given mercy.”[31]

When I travel by plane, I usually hear the pilot announce—via the inflight audio system—to fasten our seat belts due to oncoming turbulence. My typical response involves sitting down, fastening my belt and hoping (and praying) for the best. The reason I obey the pilot’s command is that I understand he is the authority concerning the plane, how it works and the effects of turbulence. My obedience is a result of using my rational faculties. Only an arrogant person would disobey a valid authority. Would any of us take seriously a seven-year-old telling us that our maths professor does not know how to teach calculus?

In a similar light, disobeying God is foolish and unfounded. Obeying God, even if we do not know the full wisdom behind some of His commands, is the most rational thing to do. God’s commands are based on His boundless knowledge and wisdom. He is the ultimate authority. To deny this authority is like a two-year-old child scribbling on a piece of paper and claiming that he is more eloquent than Shakespeare. (Actually, it is worse.)

This does not mean that we suspend our minds when obeying God. We are told by God Himself to use our reason. However, once we have established what God has said, then that should result in obedience.

Obeying God entails that one should fear Him. A believer should fear God if he wants to be in a state of servitude and obedience. This fear, however, is not the type of fear that is associated with being scared of an enemy or an evil force. God wants good for us. Rather, this fear is associated with skin-shivering awe, loss, love and unhappiness. We fear God from the perspective of fearing losing His love and good pleasure.[32]

The reasons I have provided above may raise some questions. These include: Does God need our worship? Why did He create us to worship Him?. To summarise, God is independent and everything depends on Him. He does not need anything. Worshipping God is for us, not for Him. Also, God creating us to worship Him was inevitable. His perfect names and attributes were going to manifest themselves. An artist inevitably produces art work because he has the attribute of being artistic. By greater reason, God would inevitably create us to worship Him because He is the One worthy of worship. This inevitability is not based on need but rather a manifestation of God’s names and attributes.

A Note on the Essence of Worship

In the Islamic tradition, a key act of worship is supplication (known as dua in Islamic theology). The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught that supplication is “the essence of worship”[33]. Supplications are to God alone, because only He can help us when we ask for help for something that we need or want. Supplicating to anything other than God is an act of polytheism, because the person is asking for something from an entity that does not have the ability to provide or fulfil that request. For example, if someone were to ask a stone idol to grant them twin girls, it would be an act of polytheism because they are supplicating to an entity that has no power to fulfil that request. This does not mean, however, that asking someone who has the ability to assist you for help is polytheism. It would only be polytheism if one were to believe that God was not the ultimate creator of their ability to help you. Supplicating to God is part of making our worship pure, and the way we supplicate to Him should be with humility. God says: “Invoke your Lord with humility”[34] and “So invoke God making your worship pure for Him”[35].

The free slave 

From an existential perspective, worshipping God is true liberation. If worship entails loving and obeying God the most, then in reality many of us also have other gods in our lives. Many of us want to love and obey our own egos and desires the most. We think we are always right, we never want to be wrong, and we always want to impose ourselves on others. From this perspective, we are enslaved to ourselves. The Qur’an points out such a debased spiritual state and describes the one who considers his desires, passions and whims as his god, to be worse than an animal: “Think of the man who has taken his own passion as a god: are you to be his guardian? Do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are just like cattle—no, they are further from the path.”[36]

From self-worship, sometimes we move to worship various forms of social pressures, ideas, norms and cultures. They become our point of reference, we start to love them, want to know more about them, and are led to ‘obey’ them. Examples abound; take, for instance, materialism. We have become preoccupied with money and material belongings. Obviously, to want money and possessions is not necessarily a bad thing, but we have allowed our pursuit to define who we are. Our time and efforts are devoted to the accumulation of wealth, making the false notion of material success the primary focus in our lives. From this perspective, material things start to control us, and lead us to serve the culture of avid materialism rather than serving God. I appreciate that this does not apply to everyone, but this form of excessive materialism is very common.

Essentially, if we are not worshipping God, we are still worshipping something else. This can be our own egos and desires, or ephemeral things like material possessions. In the Islamic tradition, worshipping God defines who we are, as it is part of our nature. If we forget God, and start to worship things that are not worthy of worship, we will slowly forget our own selves: “And be not like those who forgot God, so He made them forget themselves.”[37]

Our understanding of who we are is dependent on our relationship with God, which is shaped by our servitude and worship. In this sense, when we worship God we are freed from submission to other ‘gods’, whether ourselves or things that we own or desire.

The Qur’an presents us with a profound analogy: “God puts forward this illustration: can a man who has for his masters several partners at odds with each other be considered equal to a man devoted wholly to one master? All praise belongs to God, though most of them do not know.”[38]

God is essentially telling us that if we do not worship God, we end up worshipping something else. These things enslave us and they become our masters. The Qur’anic analogy is teaching us that without God, we have many ‘masters’ and they all want something from us. They are all ‘at odds with each other’, and we end up in a state of misery, confusion and unhappiness. However, God, who knows everything, including our own selves, and who has more mercy than anyone else, is telling us that He is our master, and that only by worshipping Him alone will we truly free ourselves from the shackles of the things we have taken as replacements for Him.

To conclude this essay, lovingly worshipping God and peacefully submitting to Him frees you from the degraded worship of the ephemeral world and the lustful submission to the carnal and egotistical realities of the human condition. The following lines of poetry by the Poet of the East, Muhammad Iqbal, eloquently summarises this point:

“This one prostration which you deem too exacting liberates you from a thousand prostrations.”[39]

References

[1] The Qur’an, Chapter 51, Verse 56.

[2] The Qur’an, Chapter 47, Verse 19.

[3] The Qur’an, Chapter 7, Verse 180.

[4] The Qur’an, Chapter 4, Verse 48.

[5] The Qur’an, Chapter 25, Verses 68 and 70.

[6] The Qur’an, Chapter 23, Verses 99 and 100.

[7] The Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 117.

[8] The Qur’an, Chapter 8, Verse 51.

[9] This is based on the following authentic tradition narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Hibban: “There are four (who will protest) to God on the Day of Resurrection: the deaf man who never heard anything, the insane man, the very old man, and the man who died during the fatrah(the interval between the time of  Jesus (upon whom be peace) and the time of Muhammad ﷺ. The deaf man will say, ‘O Lord, Islam came but I never heard anything.’ The insane man will say, ‘O Lord, Islam came but the children ran after me and threw stones at me.’ The very old man will say, ‘O Lord, Islam came but I did not understand anything.’ The man who died during the fatrah will say, ‘O Lord, no Messenger from You came to me.’ He will accept their promises of obedience, then word will be sent to them to enter the Fire. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, if they enter it, it will be cool and safe for them.” There are other hadiths and verses of the Qur’an that indicate that God will not allow anyone to enter hell until people have been given the correct message of Islam.

[10] Al-Ghazali, M. A. (1993) Fayasl al-Tafriqa Bayn al-Islam wa-l-Zandaqa. Edited by M. Bejou. Damascus, p. 84. An online copy is available at: http://ghazali.org/books/fiysal-bejou.pdf [Accessed 21st November 2016].

[11] Ibid.

[12] The Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 113. This verse refers to the ‘people of the book’. However, the principle applies to all groups of people.

[13] Ibid.

[14] The Qur’an, Chapter, 20, Verse 14.

[15] The Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 29.

[16] The Qur’an, Chapter 7, Verses 191 to 194.

[17] The Qur’an, Chapter 35, Verse 3.

[18] The Qur’an, Chapter 96, Verses 6 and 7.

[19] The Qur’an, Chapter 92, Verses 8 to 12.

[20] The Qur’an, Chapter 14, Verse 34.

[21] Fromm, E. (1956). The Art of Loving. New York: Harper & Row, pp. 58-59.

[22] Al-Ghazali. (2011) Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment. Translated with an introduction and notes by Eric Ormsby. Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, p. 25.

[23] The Qur’an, Chapter 7, Verse 156.

[24] The Qur’an, Chapter 55, Verses 1 and 2.

[25] The Qur’an, Chapter 85, Verse 14.

[26] Narrated by Abu Dawud.

[27] Al-Ghazali. (2011) Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment, p. 23.

[28] The Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 31.

[29] The Qur’an, Chapter 51, Verse 56.

[30] Obedience to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as a result of obeying God, as He commands us to do so.

[31] The Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 132.

[32] Al-Ghazali. (2011) Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment, pp. 120-121.

[33] Narrated by Bukhari.

[34] The Qur’an, Chapter 7, Verse 55.

[35] The Qur’an, Chapter 40, Verse 1.

[36] The Qur’an, Chapter 25, Verses 43 and 44.

[37] The Qur’an, Chapter 59, Verse 19.

[38] The Qur’an, Chapter 39, Verse 29.

Cited in Riffat, H. (1968) The Main Philosophical Idea in the Writings of Muhammad Iqbal (1877 – 1938). Durham theses, Durham University. Available at: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/7986/2/7986_4984-vol2.PDF?UkUDh:CyT [Accessed 6th October 2016].

Is “Yahweh” Referred to in the Qur’an??

By Ebrahim Saifuddin

There are Christians who tend to make a point that the Bible mentions in Exodus 3:14 that the name of God is “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” (depends on where one puts the vowels) but this name does not appear in the Qur’an. Hence they claim that the Qur’an cannot be the Word of God and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ cannot be a Messenger of God, because there is no reference to the personal name of God which appears in the Old Testament 6823 times.

YHWH (Yahweh) in the Bible

Let’s first read the concerned verse in the Bible in context:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. – [Exodus 3:13-15]

The Hebrew word that is translated as “I AM” in English, is YHWH (known as the Tetragrammaton) which commonly the Christians read as Yahweh or Jehovah by inserting vowels. The Hebrew form of YHWH is as below:

יהוה

The objection which Christians raise is that as we see in Exodus 3:15, God says that this is his name forever thus they say if Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a Messenger of Allah then he should have made some reference to this personal name of God, Yahweh/Jehovah, to prove that he is really a Messenger of God.

Pronunciation of the word YHWH

“Yahweh” and “Jehovah” are two pronunciations formed by humans much later. Although the Jewish Encyclopedia labels the word “Jehovah” to be a philological impossibility, the Christian world tends to use this pronunciation till this day. Coming back to the pronunciation of this word YHWH, the Catholic Encyclopedia brings it to our attention:

“According to a Rabbinic tradition the real pronunciation of Jehovah ceased to be used at the time of Simeon the Just, who was, according to Maimonides, a contemporary of Alexander the Great. At any rate, it appears that the name was no longer pronounced after the destruction of the Temple.”

Moreover we are also informed by the same encyclopedia that “the modern Jews are as uncertain of the real pronunciation of the Sacred name as their Christian contemporaries” [emphasis added]. Hence one thing has been made apparent that neither the Jews nor the Christians know the true pronunciation of this word. This word was considered to be ineffable by the Jews and thus with time people lost the knowledge of its true pronunciation.

Meaning of YHWH (Yahweh)

As it was made apparent that we do not know how to pronounce the word “YHWH”, we must now look and understand what this word means so as to get an understanding of the word itself. The Jewish Encyclopedia informs us that the meaning of the name “YHWH” is “‘He who is self-existing, self-sufficient’, or, more concretely, ‘He who lives’” [emphasis added]. Hence in simplest of terms “YHWH” means The Living and Self-Subsisting.

Did Biblical Jesus use the name YHWH?

Up till now two things have been made clear; the real pronunciation of the word is not available and that the meaning of this word is “self-existing and self sufficient”, in short “He who lives”. So now it must be established whether Jesus did use this name Yahweh in any place. The only verse which Christendom can quote to try to prove that Jesus used this word is in the Gospel of John which is as below:

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” – [John 8:58]

As we see that the verse consists of the phrase “I am”, the Christians say that Jesus has used the word YHWH. So let us take a look at the Greek version of the verse as we all know that the biblical manuscripts with the Christian world are in the language Greek although there is no concrete evidence that Jesus knew this language.

The words translated as “I am” are: ἐγώ εἰμί
Transliterated as: egō eimi
Pronounced as: eg-o’ i-mee’

So the words used here are “ego eimi” which simply means “I am” – a means of designating oneself. Not only “ego eimi” simply means “I am” as one would use “I am” in their everyday talk in the English language, “ego eimi” is no where near to the meaning of YHWH which is seen above to mean The Living, Self Subsisting. So not only does this not sound anything like the proposed pronunciation of the word YHWH, it does not even carry the meaning of the word.

Was “ego eimi” used Exclusively by Jesus?

The term “ego eimi” which simply means “I am” is used in numerous places in the Bible and there are instances when this term is used by people other than Jesus. Just to give a quick example, the blind man whom Jesus cured uses the same words as well in the Gospel of John:

Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.  – [John 9:9]

Do note the deception which the Christian world uses. In the Greek manuscripts there is no “he” in the text. The verse ends at “I am”. The same phrase “ego eimi” is used in the Greek texts. Due to the absence of “he” in the biblical manuscripts, “Young’s Literal Translation” provides the following translation for the same verse:

Others said — `This is he;’ and others — `He is like to him;’ he himself said, — ‘I am [he].’ – [Young’s Literal Translation of John 9:9]

Notice that the term “he” is placed in parenthesis because this word is not present in the biblical manuscripts. Any form of term that is not in the text being translated should be written in parenthesis to convey the meaning and not cause deception such that people would believe that it is part of the original text.

So by using the phrase “ego eimi” was the blind man suggesting that he was YHWH? Obviously not and no Christian would dare to claim that he was. So then why did he use the term “ego eimi”? Simply because this word means nothing but the same as “I am” in the English language.

Similarly there are other examples in the Bible which prove that this phrase “ego eimi” was not used only by Jesus and it certainly does not hold the meaning of YHWH as seen earlier.

If, however Christendom wants to claim that “ego eimi” refers to “YHWH”, the personal name of God, they have to accept that when traveling from Hebrew to Greek, the word was not used as “YHWH” (Yahweh) but an alternate word(s) was used “ego eimi” which was a reference to the actual name YHWH.

Does Qur’an Make Any Reference to YHWH?

So far we have learnt 4 points which I will list so as to refresh all that we have learnt so far:

⚫ Actual pronunciation of YHWH is lost

⚫ YHWH means “Self-Subsisting”, “The Living”

⚫ Jesus did not use the term “YHWH”

⚫ Christians cannot deny that traveling from Hebrew to Greek another term was used to refer to YHWH.

Thus we see that the Qur’an should have a reference to the term YHWH rather than having the term “YHWH” as the Qur’an was revealed in the Arabic and not the Hebrew. The golden question thus would be was any such reference made to the term “YHWH” in the Quran or by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ?

The answer is a definite “YES”.

We have learnt so far that the meaning of the term “YHWH” is The Living, Self Subsisting and although the term “Allah” is used in the Quran, this word simply means “The God”.

However, we know that Islamic teachings inform us of 99 names (attributes) of Allah and the Quran informs us that to Allah belongs the most beautiful names and we can call him by any of these beautiful names:

He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belong the Most beautiful names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.  – [Quran 59:24]

Say: “Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most beautiful names. Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between.”  – [Quran 17:110]

Thus we see that there are many different names of Allah, some of which I have listed below:

Al-‘Adl – The Just, The Equitable
Al-‘Afuw – The Pardoner
Al-‘Asim – The Protector
Ad-Dafi` – The Remover of Tribulations
Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem – The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Just like these above-mentioned beautiful names of Allah we also learn of two other names which combined are read as Hayyul-Qayyum:

Hayyul-Qayyum – The Living, Self-Subsisting

YHWH – The Living, Self-Subsisting

Here it has been proven that there is clear reference to the name YHWH in the Qur’an which crumbles the Christian stand that Islam has no reference to the name YHWH and thus Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is not the Messenger of Allah.

Stressed Importance of Hayyul-Qayyum

One of the verses which has Allah referred to by the name Hayyul-Qayyum is in Ayat-ul-Qursi (The Verse of the Throne). Ayat-ul-Qursi has multitude benefits but apart from Ayat-ul-Qursi having its benefits, this verse with “Hayyul-Qayyum” mentioned in it was referred to by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the “greatest”:

Ubayy bin Ka’b said: Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) said: O Abu’ al-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: Allah and His Apostle (May peace be upon him) know best. He again said: Abu’l-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: “Allahu La ilaha illa Huwal Hayyul Qayyum.”  Thereupon he struck me on my breast and said: May knowledge be pleasant for you, O Abu’l-Mundhir! – [Sahih Muslim, Book 4, #1768]

In another narration, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ heard the man use “Hayyul-Qayyum” in his supplication and the Prophet ﷺ said that he has supplicated using Allah’s Greatest Name:

Narrated by Anas Ibn Malik: I was sitting with the Apostle of Allah ﷺ and a man was offering prayer. He then made supplication: O Allah, I ask Thee by virtue of the fact that praise is due to Thee, there is no deity but Thou, Who showest favour and beneficence, the Originator of the Heavens and the earth, O Lord of Majesty and Splendour, O Living One, O Eternal One.

The Prophet ﷺ then said: He has supplicated Allah using His Greatest Name, when supplicated by this name, He answers, and when asked by this name He gives. – [Abu Dawood, Book 2, #1490]

Yet another hadith to show the importance stressed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on the Hayyul-Qayyum:

Narrated by Asma’ daughter of Yazid: The Prophet (pbuh) said: Allah’s Greatest Name is in these two verses: “And your deity is one deity; there is no deity but He, the Compassionate the Merciful,” and the beginning of Surah Al ‘Imran, A.L.M. “Allahu La ilaha illa Huwal Hayyul Qayyum.”– [Abu Dawood, Book 2, #1491]

Conclusion

With the grace of Allah it can be seen that there is a clear reference to YHWH in the Quran. This reference is much stronger than what the Christians claim to be a reference to YHWH in the New Testament. The word “ego eimi” is in no way the Greek word for YHWH nor does it hold the meaning of YHWH. However as seen, there is a clear reference to the term YHWH in the Quran as well as the Hadith.

The Quran gives us many beautiful names of Allah, some of which have been mentioned above, and a Muslim can call upon Allah with any of his beautiful names unlike the followers of the Bible who do not even know how to pronounce the ‘personal name’ revealed to them. Indeed much of the truth in those books is lost just like the pronunciation of YHWH is lost and the Quran is sent to restore that which is lost – The Criterion.

Some More Beautiful Names of Allah

Al-Ghani – The Self-Sufficient, The Rich Beyond Need

Al-Awwal – The First

Al-‘Aakhir – The Last

Al-Barr – The Source of All Goodness

Al-Baaqi – The Everlasting One

Al-Haqq – The Truth

Al-Khaliq – The Creator

Al-Kafi – The Sufficient One

Ash-Shahid – The Witness

Why Does Allah Ta’ala Refer to Himself as We/He??

We already know Allah our lord is One. As in Surah al-Ikhlas 112:1-4. But why does Allah the Lord use the word “We” to refer to Himself in many verse or ayat in the Qur’an? For example He says in Surah al-Anbiya’ 21:107 “And We did not send you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the world.” The word “we” is plural, more than one. Why does Allah use “We” instead of “I” to refer to Himself?

Answer:
It is a feature of literary style in Arabic that a person may refer to themself by the pronoun nahnu (we) for respect or glorification. They may also use the word ana (I), indicating one person, or the third person huwa (he). All three styles are used in the Qur’an, where Allah addresses the Arabs in their own tongue.

Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, sometimes refers to Himself in the singular, by name or by use of a pronoun, and sometimes by use of the plural, as in the phrase (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We have given you a manifest victory.” [al-Fat’h 48:1], and other similar phrases.

But Allah never refers to Himself by use of the dual, because the plural refers to the respect that He deserves, and may refer to His names and attributes, whereas the dual refers to a specific number (and nothing else), and He is far above that.” (See Al-‘Aqeedah al-Tadmuriyyah by Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 75.)

These words, inna (“Verily We”) and nahnu (“We”), and other forms of the plural, may be used by one person speaking on behalf of a group, or they may be used by one person for purposes of respect or glorification, as is done by some monarchs when they issue statements or decrees in which they say “We have decided…” etc. [This is known in English as “The Royal “We””]

In such cases, only one person is speaking but the plural is used for respect. The One Who is more deserving of respect than any other is Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, so when He says in the Qur’an – inna (“Verily We”) and nahnu (“We”), it is for respect and glorification, not to indicate plurality of numbers.

If an ‘aayah (verse) of this type is causing confusion, it is essential to refer to the clear, unambiguous ‘aayat (verses) for clarification, and if a Christian, for example, insists on taking ‘aayat such as (interpretation of the meaning)
“Verily, We: it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e., the Qur’an)…” [al-Hijr 15:9] as proof of divine plurality, we may refute this claim by quoting such clear and unambiguous ‘aayat as (interpretation of the meanings): “And your God is One God, there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.”   [al-Baqarah 2:163] and “Say: He is Allah, the One.” [al-Ikhlas 112:1] and other ‘aayat which can only be interpreted in one way. Thus confusion will be dispelled for the one who is seeking the truth.

Every time Allah uses the plural to refer to Himself, it is based on the respect and honor that He deserves, and on the great number of His names and attributes, and on the great number of His troops and angels.” [See Al-‘Aqeedah al-Tadmuriyyah by Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 109].

Alternate Answer:

This is a good question and one that Bible readers have also asked about. The term “We” in the Bible and in the Qur’an is the royal “We” – as an example when the king says, “We decree the following declaration, etc.” or, “We are not amused.” It does not indicate plural; rather it displays the highest position in the language. English, Persian, Hebrew, Arabic and many languages provide for the usage of “We” for the royal figure. It is helpful to note the same dignity is given to the person being spoken to in English. We say to someone, “You ARE my friend.” Yet the person is only one person standing there. Why did we say “ARE” instead of “IS”? The noun “you” is singular and should therefore be associated with a singular verb for the state of being, yet we say, “are.” The same is true for the speaker when referring to himself or herself. We say, “I am” and this is also in the royal plural, instead of saying, “I is.”

When Allah uses the term “HE” in Quran it is similar to the above answer. The word “He” is used when referring to Allah out of respect, dignity and high status. It would be totally inappropriate to use the word “it” and would not convey the proper understanding of Allah being who Allah is; Alive, Compassionate, Forgiving, Patient, Loving, etc. It is not correct to associate the word “He” with gender, as this would be comparing Allah to the creation, something totally against the teaching of Qur’an.

Allah – The Raaziq

[Majlisul Ulama]

“There  is  no  living  creature  on  earth,  but  its  Rizq  (sustenance)  is  the  responsibility  of  Allah.”   [Qur’aan]

“Numerous  are  the  animals  which  do  not  carry  their  rizq  on  their  backs.  Allah  feeds  them  and  you.”   [Qur’aan]

Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said: Rizq  is  sealed,  and  the  harees  (greedy  one)  is  deprived.” (That  is,  no  matter what  he  does,  he  will  not  gain  more  than  his  pre-determined amount  of  wealth.)

It  is  a  belief  which  is  an  integral  constituent  of  the  validity  of  Imaan  that  Allah  Ta’ala  is  the  Sole  Raaziq  (Provider  of  all  man’s  needs).  While  this  is  a  fardh  (compulsory)  belief  of  every  Muslim,  or  it  should  be  so,  this  Aqeedah  (Belief)  is  confined  to  lip  service.  Verbally  Muslims  say  that  Allah  Ta’ala  is  The  Raaziq,  but  their  practical  life  betrays  the  kufr  inside  their  heart.  While  the  belief  of  Allah’s  Razzaaqiyat  (Providence)  is  on  the  tongue,  it  finds  no  place  in  the  hearts  of  most  Muslims.

YAQEEN
Bereft  of  life  and  spirit,  our  belief  in  Allah’s  Razzaaqiyat  is the  same  as  the  belief  of  non-Muslims.  This  becomes  manifest  whenever  there  is  a  clash  between  the  demands  of  the  Shariah  and  the  dictates  of  the  lowly  nafs.  The  haraam  avenues  for  the acquisition  of  rizq  appear  easy,  tempting  and  lucrative.  On  the  contrary,  the  halaal  route  seems  arduous  and  unpromising.  At the  juncture  of  this  conflict  does  it  become  apparent  that  the  doctrine  of  Allah’s  Razzaaqiyat  is  not  in  the  heart.  There  is  no yaqeen  in  the  belief  which  is  verbally  professed  by  Muslims.

In  view  of  this  belief  not  existing  in  the  hearts,  Muslims  resort  to  a  plethora  of  baseless  interpretations  to  justify  the  haraam  avenue  and  means  which  they  adopt  for  the  acquisition  of their  Rizq.  If  there  is  life  and  spirit  in  our  Aqeedah,  we  shall  know  exactly  what  course  to  take  in  the  event  of  conflict.  When  a  Muslim  truly  believes  in  the  Aqeedah  pertaining  to Rizq  as  stated  in  the  Qur’aan  and  Hadith,  he  will  not  be  lost  in  a  quandary  when  a  conflict  between  the  opposite  forces  develop.  He  will  know  exactly  which  course  of  action  to adopt.

When  there  are  two  conflicting  avenues  for  the  acquisition  of Rizq,  the  one  easy,  but  haraam,  while  the  other  one  is  difficult but  halaal,  the  Muslim  will  select  the  correct  option  only  if there  is  yaqeen  in his  belief  in  Allah’s  Razzaaqiyat.

SEALED
The  Hadith, “Rizq  is  sealed.”,   has  a  literal  meaning.  Rizq  is  quantitively  sealed.  There  is  no  scope  for  increase  nor decrease.  The  quantitive  amount  decreed  by  Allah  Ta’ala  for  every  soul  long  before  its  appearance  on  earth  remains  static.  Neither  sin  and  transgression  will  reduce  the  quantitive  amount,  nor  will  obedience  and  virtue  increase  it.  The  quantitive  amount  of  wealth  is  not  dependent  on  intelligence,  business  acumen,  ability,  inability,  piety,  impiety,  etc.  The  ‘increase’  and  ‘decrease’  pertaining  to  Rizq  relate  to  barkat  (blessing),  not  to  the  static  quantitive  amount.
If  for  example,  Allah  Ta’ala  has  ordained  that  Zaid  will  earn  10  million  in  his  lifetime,  nothing  will  increase  or  decrease it.  Zaid  is  notified  by  the  Shariah  of  his  sealed  Rizq  which  he  has  to  acquire.  He  is  informed  of  two  ways  of  acquiring  his  Rizq  –  a  halaal  way  and  a  haraam  way.  He  is  told  that  if  he  adopts  the  halaal  way,  there  will  be  barkat,  thawaab  and  Allah’s  Pleasure.  His  rand/dollar  will  procure  more  and  last  longer.  On  the  other  hand,  if  he  employs  the  haraam  method,  his  10  million  will  be  deprived  of  barkat.  He  invites  Allah’s  Wrath,  and  instead  of  thawaab,  there  will  be  athaab.  His rand/dollar/rupee  will  be  deprived  of  blessings.

THE LAMP
Allah  Ta’ala  has  created  this  world  as  the  arena  for  the  conflict  between  Haqq  and  Baatil,  vice  and  virtue.  He  has  created  Shaitaan  and  an  inherently  evil  nafs  within  us.  These  evil  forces  have  a  role  to  play  in  the  Divine  Scheme  of  creation.  Allah  Ta’ala  created  us  in  this  world  of  sin  and  misery,  and  placed  in  our  hands  a  Lamp  of  Guidance,  the  Deen,  with  which  we  have  to  pilot  our  way  through  the  innumerable  obstacles  and  dangers  along  our  sojourn  back  Home  to  Jannat  from  whence  the  journey  initiated  with  our  noble  Ancestors,  Hadhrat  Aadam  (alayhis  salaam)  and  Hadhrat  Hawwaa  (alayhas  salaam). 

Instead  of  constantly  polishing  this  Lamp  and  utilizing  it  correctly  to  manoeuvre  our  way  across  this  earthly  wilderness  of  danger,  we  extinguish  it  with  sin,  transgression,  and  worse  –  with  baseless  interpretation  to  justify  our  sin  and  evil.  When  there  develops  a  conflict  between  the  opposite  forces,  for  example,  in  the  sphere  of  Rizq  acquisition,  Muslims  invariably  extinguish  the  Lamp  and  adopt  the  haraam  way  with  the  licences  of  permissibility  offered  by  the  ulama-e-soo’.  Thus,  we  find,  riba  being  halaalized  and  licences  of  permissibility  granted  to  the  myriad  of  riba  banking  institutions  which  are  painted  with  Islamic  hues  to  mislead  and  con  ignorant  and  unwary  Muslims.  Even  such  Muslims  who  are  fully  aware  of  the  wrong  and  corruption  of  these  avenues  of  Rizq  acquisition  adopt  the  way  of  the  masses  of  Bani  Israael  who  accepted  the  haraam  methods  and  ways  of  acquisition  despite  their  hearts  testifying  to  the  evil  and  hurmat  of  such  ways  and  means.  Hence,  Allah  Ta’ala,  severely  reprimanding  such  people  says  in  the  Qur’aan Majeed: “They  take  their  Ulama  and  their  Mashaaikh  as  gods  besides  Allah…”   Their  holy  and  learned  men  would  fabricate  for  them  permissibilities  by  way  of  baseless  interpretation.  They  would  halaalize  riba,  carrion,  zina,  liquor,  and  haraam ways  of  Rizq  acquisition.  This  is  the  exact  malady  in  which the  Ulama,  Mashaaikh  and Awaamun  Naas  (general  public)  of  this  Ummah  are  entrapped  in  today.

DIFFICULTIES
It  is  vital  for  success  in  both  worlds  to  understand  that  all  halaal  institutions,  ways  and  means  will  incumbently  be  beset  with  difficulties  and  hardships.  Conscious  pursuit  of  only  Halaal  for  the  Sake  of  Allah  Ta’ala  is  logically  unpalatable  to  the  nafs.  It  is  all  part  of  the  worldly  test  for  which  we  have  been  despatched  to  earth  and  commanded  to  submit  to.  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  “The  Fire  (of Jahannum)  is  adorned  with  delights  while  Jannat  is  veiled with  difficulties  and  hardships.” He  also  said: “This  dunya  is  a prison  for  the  Mu’min  and  a  paradise  for  the  kaafir.”  

Thus,  difficulties,  hardships  –  trials  and  tribulations  –  are  necessary  corollaries  in  the  process  of  Halaal  acquisition  of  Rizq.  The  Mu’min  is  therefore  required  to  simply  shrug  off  and  reject  any  act,  method  or  institution  which  is  in  conflict with  the  Shariah.  It  does  not  behove  the  Mu’min  whose  focus  is  on  the  Aakhirah  to  seek  an  interpretation  to  water  down  or  to  circumscribe  or  to  overcome  an  ordinance  of  the  Shariah.  It  is  imperative  that  he  understands  that  regardless  of  what  he  does,  he  will  not  be  able  to  increase  his  Rizq  even  one  cent,  and  regardless  of  what  he  does  not  do,  his  Rizq  will  not  decrease  by  one  cent.  Rizq  is  pre-determined,  pre-destined  and  sealed.

FACTORS  OF  FLUCTUATION
The  fluctuations  in  Rizq  will  be  in  the  sphere  of  barkat (blessing)  and  thawaab  which  will  increase  and  decrease  depending  on  a  variety  of  factors  related  to  our  lives,  and  not  only  to  the  way  of  Rizq  acquisition.  A  man’s  way  of  Rizq  acquisition  may  be  perfectly  lawful.  But  he  may  be  disobedient  to  his  parents  or  he  may  have  severed  a  family  tie  with  a  relative,  or  he  may  be  involved  in  some  other  act  of  transgression,  or  he  may  not  be  fulfilling  the  rights  (huqooq)  of  the  wealth,  or  perhaps  he  commits  bid’ah  or  his  tongue  may  be  abusive,  etc.,  etc.  All  these  factors  have  a  role  in  the  acquisition  of  barkat  or  in  being  deprived  thereof.

The  Deeni  life  of  a  Muslim  is  not  compartmentalized.  All  parts  of  the  Deen  are  cogs  in  a  Machine.  If  one  cog/part  malfunctions,  the  effect  permeates  the  entire  Machine.  For  gaining  maximum  barakat  in  Rizq,  it  is  necessary  to  implement  the  whole  of  the  Shariah  and  the  Sunnah

When  a  Muslim  adopts  a  haraam  way  of  Rizq  acquisition  he  betrays  his  lack  of  belief  in  the  Razzaaqiyat  of  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal.  It  is  because  of  his  disbelief  in  the  assurance  given  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Qur’aan regarding  Rizq  that  he  feels  that  he  would  be  deprived  of  wealth  if  he  refrains  from  adopting  the  prevailing  haraam  ways  and  means  of  pursuing  money.  This  disbelief  prompts  him  to  deal  in  riba,  stolen  goods,  to  commit  fraud,  deception  and  generally  accept  all  the  baatil  systems  and  institutions  of  the  kuffaar  for  earning  wealth.  But,  due  to  his  disbelief,  he  fails  to  understand  that  despite  all  the  haraam  ways  and  means  he  will  not  obtain  what  Allah  Ta’ala  has  not  decreed for  him.

DISPOSSESSION
Dispossession  in  different  ways  of  already  possessed  wealth  is  evidence  for  the  reality  of  pre-ordained  quantitive  wealth. Calamities  such  as  robberies,  major  illness  costing  huge  sums,  heavy  losses,  fines  by  the  authorities,  taxes,  accidents  and  numerous  other  ways  of  financial  losses  which  dispossess  a  man  of  the  wealth  in  his  possession  indicate  that  such  wealth  was  not  decreed  in  his  Taqdeer  to  remain  with  him  for  his  benefit  in  this  world  and  the  Hereafter.  For  some  reason  Allah  Ta’ala  gave  him  temporary  possession.  For  example,  he  chose  a  haraam  way  of  earning  which  brought  him  substantial  wealth.  The  man  deceived  by  shaitaan  believes  that  he  has  earned  all  the  wealth  because  he  had  hated  the  haraam  method.

Meanwhile,  Allah  Ta’ala  allowed  him  temporary  possession  so  that  the  love  for  the  haraam  money  settles  in  his  heart. Allah  Ta’ala  then  afflicts  him  with  a  calamity  which dispossesses  him  of  the  ill-gotten  gain.  The  deprived  man  now  suffers  mental  agony  and  depression  in  consequence  of  the  loss  of  the  object  of  his  love  –  the  haraam  wealth.  This  agony  is  part  of  the  punishment  in  store  for  him.  Thus,  haraam  wealth  is  a  temporary  gain  of  which  he  will  be  soon  deprived  without  the  opportunity  of  benefiting  from  it.  Only  the  amount  ordained  in  his  Taqdeer  will  remain  with  him.

Muslims  should  understand  and  believe  in  the  Razzaaqiyat  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  Only  the  ordained  amount  will  remain  with  them  for  their  benefit.  When  the  understanding  dawns  that  Rizq  is  sealed,  the  Muslim  will  then  not  bat  an  eyelid  to  reject  any  Rizq  acquisition  proposal  which  conflicts  with  the  Shariah.

Refuting the Christian Lie about the Term ‘Allah’ meaning ‘curse’ in Hebrew Language

Important Note: Islamophobes  are born to lie, especially when it comes to Islam, they never leave any stone unturned and they just lie unhesitatingly and present statements without any intellect nor any with proof, they think that they will escape with their lie and fool the unwary masses, so whenever you hear anything against Islam from a hater, I recommend you to please verify from the correct Islamic source and seek judgement from your heart on which is the truth. Here in this blog, we are trying our best to differentiate between the lies of Christians and their evil allegations on Allah, Islam, the Qur’an and the Prophet. Please do leave any doubts or allegations you had come accross in our comments section so that we can expose them for the awareness of people. Also please feel free to share our posts with your friends, our aim is to diffuse the lying propaganda and hope the readers will help to fulfill the aim for the sake of truth.

DOES ‘ALLAH’ MEAN ‘CURSE’ IN HEBREW??

A strange claim about “Allah” put forward by Islam-bashers states that “Allah” is the Hebrew word for “curse,” but this is a complete fabrication. Their entire reason for this misinterpretation is that the word for “curse” and the word for “Allah” use the same letters; but ignore the fact that “Allah” has an extra “L”, which means the word for “curse” is actually “Alah”, not “Allah.” Even if the two words are similar, it is important to remember that “Allah” is the Arabic word for God, not Hebrew; let alone the fact that many Middle Eastern Arab-Christians and Jews refer to God ad “Allah” themselves.

Some Christians unthinkingly say ‘Allah is not God.’ This is the ultimate blasphemy to Muslims, and furthermore, it is difficult to understand. Allah is the primary Arabic word for God. It means ‘The God.’ There are some minor exceptions. For example, the Bible in some Muslim lands uses a word for God other than Allah (Farsi and Urdu translations use the term ‘Khuda’ is an example). But for more than five hundred years before Prophet Muhammad, the vast majority of Jews and Christians in Arabia called God by the name Allah. How, then, can we say that Allah is an invalid name for God? If it is, then to whom have these Jews and Arab Christians been praying?

There are four letters when it’s represented in Hebrew – the Arabic name Allah in Hebrew letters:

(Allah) alef lamed lamed heh.

The Hebrew word for curse is only three letters:

(uh-luh) alef lamed heh.

Clearly they don’t look the same. Although the Arabic name Allah could be written in three letters in Hebrew by inserting a dot, a “dagesh,” inside the “lamed” – middle letter, the “l”

…and that is not how it’s written; …but even if it were, it still wouldn’t mean anything. It wouldn’t mean that Allah means curse any more than the Hebrew name for God “Eloah” means curse.

Furthermore, the Qur’an itself attests that “Allah” is the same deity of the Jews and Christians:

“We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are oneand we submit to Him.” (Qur’an, 29:46)

“Say, “We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and what Moses and Jesus and all the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him.” (Qur’an, 3:84)

Finally, no amount of facts or deeper discussion about where “Allah” comes from, linguistically and historically, or how Muslims and Arabic speakers have understood the word over millennia is bound to affect haters intent on demonizing Islam and Muslims. The simple reason for this is that Islamophobes are grappling with their own historical inheritance; the idea and concept that Muslims and Islam are the complete epitome of the “other”; a people so different than us that their God could “never be the same as our God.”